World Environment Day: 5 homemade face masks to make your skincare routine more sustainable

When it comes to protecting the environment, every small thing matters. The beauty sector is one of the fastest-growing, and it involves the usage of a wide range of products, many of which can be harmful to the environment. People waste more than they realise with single-use goods such as face sheet masks, which is one of the popular beauty trends but unfortunately contributes to a significant amount of waste. On this World Environment Day, let’s take a pledge to protect the environment by incorporating these homemade face masks for beautiful skin and by raising awareness about the importance of taking a sustainable approach to protect our planet.

How are homemade face masks environmentally friendly?

Homemade face masks have various environmental benefits over store-bought, single-use products, as explained by dermatologist Dr DM Mahajan.

1. Reduced waste

Disposable face sheet masks often include plastic or synthetic material that takes hundreds of years to degrade. Making your homemade face mask removes this waste completely.

2. Fewer packaging materials

Commercially produced face sheet masks include boxes, plastic wrappers, and other packaging that adds to overall waste. Homemade masks use substances that you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet, avoiding the need for wasteful packaging.

3. Sustainable ingredients

Many homemade mask recipes use natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, honey, and yoghurt. These ingredients are biodegradable and will not harm the environment once used.

4. Cost-effective

Most ingredients for homemade masks are commonly found in kitchens and are significantly cheaper than commercial face masks, making them pocket-friendly and safe for the planet.

5 easy and effective eco-friendly homemade face mask

Here are some of the best environment-friendly homemade face masks for glowing skin, as suggested by the expert.

1. Honey and lemon mask

Honey is one of the most effective natural ingredients that hydrates the skin. According to a study published in Pharmacognosy Research honey has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, apoptotic, and antioxidant properties that can help keep your skin clean from acne and inflammation. On the other hand, lemon contains vitamin C which promotes glowing skin.


-1 tablespoon of honey
-A few drops of lemon juice


-Mix one tablespoon of honey with a few drops of lemon juice.
-Evenly apply the mask on the face
-Leave the mask for 5-6 minutes
-Gently wash the mask with lukewarm water.

A bowl of honey with a spoon.
Use honey and lemon face mask to get glowing skin. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Avocado and oatmeal mask

According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetology and Dermatology, oral consumption of avocado may lead to enhanced elasticity and firmness of the facial skin. However, more research is needed to prove that avocados as face masks can nourish the skin and give a natural glow. On the other hand, oatmeal soothes and exfoliates gently.


-1 avocado
-1 tablespoon of oatmeal


-Mash half an avocado and mix with a tablespoon of oatmeal.
-Apply the mask to the face.
-Leave the mask for 6-7 minutes
-Gently rinse the mask with water

3. Yoghurt and turmeric mask

Yoghurt contains lactic acid, which may help with cleaning, exfoliation, and skin cell turnover. A study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research found that lactic acid does not cause skin irritation when removing dead skin cells. “Turmeric includes curcumin, a substance with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that help reduce inflammation and free radicals and promote radiant skin,” says the expert.


-1 tablespoons of yoghurt
-A pinch of turmeric powder.


-Combine a tablespoon of yoghurt with a pinch of turmeric.
-Apply the mask to the face with a brush.
-Wait for 5-7 minutes, until the mask absorbs into the skin.
-Wash off the mask with lukewarm water.

4. Banana and honey mask

Bananas are rich in vitamins which help to give ample moisture and nourishment to the skin. However, more research is needed to prove it. Honey as mentioned above provides hydration and fights bacteria.


-1 banana
-1 tablespoon of honey


-Mash a banana and mix it with a tablespoon of honey.
-Apply the mask to the face.
-Let the mask sit on the face for 6-7 minutes
-Rinse off the mask with water

5. Cucumber and aloe vera mask

Cucumber cools and soothes irritated skin, while aloe vera moisturises and heals the skin to give you beautiful and glowing skin. However, more research is needed to prove this claim.


-1 cucumber
-1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel.


-Blend half a cucumber with a tablespoon of aloe vera gel.
-Gently, apply the mask to the face.
-Leave the mask for 5-6 minutes.
-Wash off the mask with water.

What are the side effects of homemade face masks?

Here are some of the potential side effects of homemade face masks as explained by the expert.

1. May trigger allergic reactions

Natural ingredients can still cause allergic reactions. Common allergens include honey, citrus fruits, and nuts. Always perform a patch test before applying a new mask.

2. May irritate the skin

Some ingredients may irritate, especially if you have sensitive skin. Ingredients like lemon juice and turmeric can be harsh and cause redness or stinging. So, it is better to avoid it.

3. Increases infection risk

If masks are applied to broken skin or if tools are not clean, the risk of bacterial infection may increase. Ensure all tools and ingredients are clean.

4. Imbalances skin pH

Some ingredients may disrupt the natural pH balance of the skin, leading to dryness or excessive oil production. For example, overly acidic ingredients like lemon can disturb the skin’s acid mantle (a thin, delicate and slightly acidic film covering the entire surface of human skin).

5. Photosensitivity

Ingredients like lemon juice can increase photosensitivity, making the skin more prone to sunburn. It is important to use sunscreen after using such masks.

6. Excessive drying or oiliness

Using masks too frequently or with ingredients not suitable for your skin type can lead to excessive dryness or oiliness. Balance is key in skincare routines.

Woman with dry skin
Using lemon juice for skin can lead to skin problems. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Do not forget to consult your healthcare professional before using these homemade face masks in your skincare routine. Always perform a patch test before applying the face mask to your face.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Face sheet masks vs face masks: Which is better?

It depends on individual needs and preferences. For convenience and hydration, face sheet masks are beneficial. For a personalised, eco-friendly, and cost-effective approach, homemade face masks can be effective. Users with sensitive skin or specific allergies might benefit more from the customizable nature of homemade face masks.

2. Can I apply a homemade face mask every day?

No, unless you only use it once or twice a week. However, using a face mask daily may deplete the skin’s natural oils and moisture, resulting in dryness and acne.

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